>Holy smokes, nobody told me Elton John, Bernie Taupin AND Anne Rice were going to be there!
Lestat has been a few years in the making and will preview in March 2006. The director, costume and set designers were there as well. They all discussed the process of turning the novels into the musical and gave us sneak previews of the set design, costume sketches and, of course, the music. We were treated to five songs in total: four from individual cast members and the finale by the entire cast. It was the first time they have ever been performed in public and that made the surreal experience pretty darn cool.
Fun tidbit: Jim Stanek who plays Dr. Dan inSLUT! The Musical, the cute and witty show which closes November 13th for which you can see at a discounted price, won the role of Louis, the character portrayed by Brad Pitt in the movie Interview with a Vampire.
After all that I was given a gift bag to boot. I took two and headed over to the Colbert Report where I met Christian, Julie (thanks for the tickets, J!) and her boyfriend Wayne.
The taping didn’t start till 8:00 and the audience was told to be there at 6:00 with doors opening at 7:30. That’s a long wait outside but luckily our friend Eric writes for the show (on hiatus from his usual gig at the Daily Show) who got us in the VIP line and suggested we arrive at 6:45. Another old acquaintance Mark handles the audience and I was shocked to see him.
Mark plucked us from the line on Eric’s behalf around 7:15 and escorted us to the main conference area where we assume the writers’ meetings happen. That’s where I saw Amy, yet another friend, whom I helped on the hugely successful Clip Joint shows at the Knitting Factory. Needless to say, with so many friends old and new, we were having a great time just hanging out. Finally they loaded the audience where it dawned on us that, wow, it was kind of late and that poor audience has been doing what all this time? Who cares about the hoi polloi? We’re VIPs. Mwah!
I have never seen the Colbert Report. I am a big laugher and lover of live performances so my first time opinion of the show could be swayed by the energy in the room. Disclaimer noted, I LOVED the show. Stephen Colbert has clearly nailed down his persona to a frightening degree. Truly an awesome one-take-wonder. I was in stitches the whole time.
Bonus: Our friend Craig Baldo was doing audience warm-up. He was filling in for the usual guy and did a smash up job. Highlight: He asked an audience member what they did during the long wait. Apparently they watched back-to-back episodes of Wheel of Fortune. Craig used this as an opportunity to get the crowd to act like we were there for a WoF taping. On the count of three we shouted in unison, “WHEEL….OF….FORTUNE!” Hilarious because it was spontaneous but not so funny in print.
On the cab ride home Christian remarked something along the lines of, “We know some really great people.” And he’s right. Take any one person we ran into/hung out with and you can guarantee they are smart, funny and talented. I’m humbled to know each and every one of them.
Elton was wearing a tight purple suit. What a day.